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All nine of the Penn Charter winter varsity teams have been busy to start 2023, so let’s get caught up on how each has fared over the first two weeks of January competition (Jan. 3-15).

Wrestling

The Quakers began their 2023 schedule on Jan. 6, hosting Lawrenceville and Bristol at the Graham. Both were won by healthy margins, with PC prevailing 51-15 over Lawrenceville before beating Bristol 63-18. The two victories propelled head coach Peter Shaifer’s squad to a 6-2 overall record this season. Seniors James and George Glomb each had strong showings, as did sophomore Henry Greenberg.

At the Lion Duals at Academy of the New Church (ANC) on Jan. 7, the Quakers defeated all five of their opponents to win the event and improve their record to 11-2 — Pope John Paul II (57-15 win); Cheltenham (48-18); ANC (54-7); Lower Moreland (67-6); and Upper Dublin (37-33). 

“A truly awesome day for our program,” Shaifer said.

The Glomb brothers went a combined 10-0 with nine pins, while sophomore Greyson Catlow-Sidler won all seven of his matches. Junior James Joel went 3-0 in his first varsity appearance, and senior Pat Rullo won both of his matches in dominant fashion. In the title bout against Upper Dublin, sophomore Hugh Maley rallied from behind to score a huge fall; junior Jack Bowen battled to win his match in double overtime; and junior Charles English sealed the win with a late pin.

The Quakers stayed hot on Jan. 13, traveling to Episcopal for the start of league duals, picking up a 43-32 win. Thanks to strong early showings from Rullo and freshman Simon Bethea, as well as a forfeit win for Catlow-Sidler, PC had to win just one of its final three matches to clinch — a quick pin by George Glomb made it official, and James Glomb also gritted out a 1-0 win over a tough opponent.

On Jan. 14, PC welcomed both Malvern Prep and the Hopkins School (CT) to School House Lane. The Quakers fell 56-9 to Malvern before earning a 59-16 win over Hopkins, a team coached by Adam Sperling OPC ’00. George Glomb continued his dominant senior campaign with PC’s only head-to-head win against the Friars, with Greenberg and Bowen also coming close against the Inter-Ac powerhouse. After the match concluded, both PC and Hopkins volunteered at Cradles for Crayons.

“On Saturday, we both won and learned,” Shaifer said. “These are genuinely good young men and we are very proud of them.”

The Quakers, now 13-3 overall, will host Haverford on Friday, Jan. 20 inside the Graham at 5 p.m. in what Shaifer called “one of the most important matches of the year.” PC will also host an invitational on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 9 a.m., featuring seven area high schools. 

Boys Basketball

After winning the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational over winter break, the Quakers have stayed hot in their first four games of 2023.

Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy visited the Graham on Jan. 6 for the first league battle of the season, and it was a good one. Deadlocked at 50 with under 20 seconds to play, the Quaker offense passed the ball around until it landed in the hands of senior guard Keith Gee right in front of the PC bench. Gee drove strong into the paint and put up a floater that rimmed out, but a Blue Devils defender was whistled for a blocking foul, sending Gee to the line with 1.7 seconds left. In a pressure-packed situation, Gee calmly sank both shots to give his squad a 52-50 win.

The Quakers next visited Haverford on Jan. 10, and for three quarters a win appeared unlikely. The Fords built a 40-20 lead late in the third quarter, with nothing going right offensively for Penn Charter. PC then flipped a switch and embarked on a 33-8 run that featured tremendous defense and clutch foul shooting down the stretch in what became a thrilling 53-48 victory. 

“SCH came in fully prepared, and we really respect them,” interim head coach Dave Bass said. “They scouted us really well, and we had to make adjustments before Keith did his job on the final possession.

“As for Haverford, they were also well-prepared for us and really intentional about making us shoot from the outside. We weren’t shooting well at the start, so when we fell behind there was not much we could do but play with energy and try to turn defense into offense. They started turning the ball over, which allowed us to make a run once the shots started falling. When we can speed you up, it plays to our advantage.”

Following the close call against the Fords, the Quakers returned home to host Episcopal at the Graham on Jan. 13. With the game tied at 8 in the first quarter, PC ripped off 20 straight points and appeared headed for a rout, leading by 17 at halftime and 19 after three. The Churchmen fought hard and won the final quarter 22-10, but the deficit was too much to overcome and PC claimed a 56-49 victory that improved them to 16-1 overall and 3-0 in league play.

Senior Mark Butler led the way with 17 points, while classmate Isaiah Grimes scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half as the Quakers built a sizable advantage. The 6-foot-3 Grimes, a first team all-league football selection and one of the taller players on the team, takes pride in bringing a physical style of play and his inside-outside game and penchant for hustle plays are a major reason why PC has been so successful this season.

“Not having a set guy we go to, it can be any one of us who has a big game,” Grimes said afterward. “Our starting five is so good and we build off each other, knowing who’s hot and who to feed the ball to. It’s a very unselfish team and we care about each other. I’m playing with my best friends, so this season has been all I could ask for. This is the high school dream: doing the things you love with the people you love.”

The next afternoon, the Quakers welcomed Frankford to the Graham, using a 29-4 third quarter run to pull away for a 73-51 win, improving the team to 17-1 overall. 

Next week's SportsZone will cover PC’s 55-52 victory at Malvern Prep on Jan. 17, as well as the home showdown against Germantown Academy at the Graham on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Following an 0-3 showing at the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational, the girls basketball team has returned to their winning ways, going 5-2 over a 13-day stretch from Jan. 3-15.

The Quakers began 2023 with a pair of Inter-Ac victories — a 63-38 win over Episcopal on Jan. 3, followed by a 51-43 triumph against Notre Dame on Jan. 6. Against EA, PC was carried by seniors Aleah Snead (23 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, five steals) and Bella Toomey (12 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals). That duo also had success against the Irish, with Snead leading the way with 13 points and Toomey right on her heels with 12. Sophomore Kaylinn Bethea also reached double figures with 11 points, pushing PC’s league record to 4-0 in the team’s quest to repeat as sole champions of the Inter-Ac. 

“We don’t want to share the title,” Maguire said. “Going into those games, we picked up the defensive intensity and focused on tempo and pace while making them work hard to score against us.”

PC fell 58-48 to St. John’s (DC) on Jan. 8, but the team celebrated anyway as Snead reached the 1,000-point milestone for her career.

After the 2-1 week, the Quakers had four more games the following week, finishing 3-1. First up was a 69-45 win at Imhotep Charter on Jan. 9, highlighted by Snead’s 28 points and seven rebounds. Bethea had 15 and four assists, while Toomey (12 points, eight rebounds, four blocks) and eighth grader Ryan Carter (eight points, eight assists) also contributed to the victory.

PC returned to league action on Jan. 13, picking up a 53-21 win at Baldwin. The lopsided score allowed Maguire to give extended action to some of his younger players, with freshman Molly Dougherty delivering a team-high 14 points as the Quakers improved to 5-0 in the Inter-Ac. 

“Our first rotation played an efficient, disciplined game and executed their plays very well in limited time,” Maguire said.

The Quakers split a pair of non-league games over the weekend, defeating Archbishop Carroll 42-35 on Jan. 14 in an ALS awareness showcase at Father Judge, Maguire’s alma mater. Snead led the team with 18 points, while Carter chipped in 13.

Against Archbishop Wood the next day in the Hoops for Hope Tournament at Ursinus College, Wood used a 27-9 second-quarter explosion en route to a 54-41 win. The Quakers held Wood to 27 points combined in the other three periods, but still fell to 9-8 overall on the season.

“The goals we’ve had since the beginning of the season are still in front of us and there for us to control,” Maguire said. 

Next week's SportsZone will look back on PC’s 65-49 victory against Agnes Irwin on Jan. 17, as well as the upcoming contests against Germantown Academy at the Graham on Friday, Jan. 20 (5:30 p.m.) and Spring-Ford on Sunday, Jan. 22 at Jefferson University at the Maggie Lucas Showcase (7:30 p.m.).
 

Boys Indoor Track & Field

Head coach Steve Bonnie’s boys indoor track squad re-convened on Jan. 7 for TFCAofGP Meet #5 at Lehigh for the team’s first race of 2023. 

It was a relay bonanza for the Quakers, who placed in the top-five in three separate events. The 4x800 team of seniors Jack Frank and Wes Trautwein and sophomores Nate Johnson and TJ Zwall were victorious, finishing first with a season-best time of 8:25.55. The same quartet also ran in the 4x400, placing fifth at 3:49.34. Elsewhere, the 4x200 team consisting of sophomores Jaxon Adams and Eian Kilpatrick and juniors Zahir Kalam Id-Din and Gavin Michener finished fourth at 1:38.85. 

Freshman Jaden Black placed eighth in the 200m (24.56), while other top-10 finishers included: senior Christian Black, fifth in the long jump (19-1) and ninth in triple jump (34-4.25); sophomore Luis Rincon placed third in pole vault (10-0); and junior Owen Larrabee, fifth in the shot put at 39-11.25.

On Jan. 13, the boys returned to Lehigh TFCAofGP Meet #6, and Bonnie was delighted to witness Kalam Id-Din win the 60m dash in 7.18. 

“We knew Zahir was a fine young man with decent speed, but he just came out smoking,” Bonnie said. “He was a showstopper and qualified for the Meet of Champs. If he gets his time down to 7.05-10, he’s got a shot to be in the mix at states.”

The distance medley relay team of Frank, Johnson, Zwall and sophomore Mason Knight also secured a first-place finish in 11:09.57, while Christian Black, Rincon and Larrabee all placed third in the long jump, pole vault and shot put, respectively. The final top-10 finish belonged to junior Britton Armbrister, who earned a sixth-place finish in the 60m hurdles (9.63).

“Britton is a strong soccer player who did a little track last year,” Bonnie said. “He’s bigger, stronger and more focused this year and has really come on strong. If he stays with it during the outdoor season, he could be very good.”

Finally, at the Kristian Marche Memorial Invitational on Jan. 15 at the Armory in New York City, the 4x800 relay team placed fifth with a time of 8:29.83, while Zwall won the 3000m race in 9:10.10.

The next TFCAofGP meet will take place on Friday, Jan. 20 at Glen Mills at 6 p.m. 
 

Girls Indoor Track & Field

It has been an action-packed start to 2023 for head coach Candice Lee’s squad, as the girls have participated in three meets thus far.

First up was DVGTCA Meet #4 at Alvernia on Jan. 6. Freshman Michaela Poland had the best finish of the event, placing third in the 400m with a time of 1:01.73. Elsewhere, sophomore Mariah Mays finished fourth in shot put (30-11), while junior Olivia Roland was fifth in the high jump (4-9). 

Other strong showings included: junior Nora Maione was eighth in the long jump (15-3); senior Olivia Summers, competing for the first time in two years, finished 14th in the triple jump (30-3.25); and the 4x200 relay team of seniors Bea Buckley and Veronica Lentz, Roland and Poland dropped seven seconds from their previous best showing, running it in 1:55.42. 

Elsewhere the same weekend, sophomore Alli DeLisi and senior Dani Shipon were back in New York City for a second consecutive weekend to compete in the Armory Hispanic Games. DeLisi and Shipon each ran in the 800m, with DeLisi placing second (2:15.78) and Shipon finishing sixth (2:21.04). DeLisi also competed in the 1500m, placing 10th (4:45.49), as well as the one-mile run (11th, 5:07.52).

Finally, the girls were scheduled to compete in DVGTCA Meet #5 at Alvernia on Jan. 13 but instead returned to the Armory in New York for the Kristian Marche Memorial Invitational on Jan. 15. According to Lee, Kristian Marche mimics the exact order of events for the state meet that will take place on Feb. 26. She sent those who have already qualified for states, or are close to it, so they could get a feel for what to expect when the time comes. 

DeLisi (second place) and Shipon (seventh) each dropped their 800m times, running season bests of 2:15.12 and 2:18.97, respectively. Poland ran the 400 in 1:00.57, finishing ninth; and the 4x400 relay team of Shipon, Poland, Lentz and DeLisi — currently ranked second in the state — finished first with a time of 4:04.34, good enough to qualify for both states and nationals. 

“I feel really optimistic with the remaining meets,” Lee said. “I would like more individuals to qualify for the Meet of Champs.”

The next DVGTCA meet is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 20 at Lehigh at 6:30 p.m.

Boys Swimming & Diving

Competing for the first time since a 133-53 loss at Germantown Academy on Dec. 13, the Quakers were back in the pool to host Episcopal on Jan. 11. 

“Although the boys were unable to walk away with a victory, losing 112-74, they had a spectacular meet,” head coach Brian Hecker said.

The meet got off to a thrilling start, as the 200 medley relay team of seniors Cormac Stevens and Alex Zoldan, junior PJ Duffy and sophomore Joe Repetto defeated the Churchmen by 0.06 seconds. Senior Juan Tovar and Repetto swam to first and second-place finishes in the 100 butterfly, while Zoldan claimed victories in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle. Duffy also picked up a win in the 50 freestyle. 

The Quakers (0-2) also won the diving portion of the meet, as sophomore Aidan Trautwein, senior Elliot Langford and freshman Calvin Zulick placed second through fourth, respectively. 

Next week, SportsZone will take a look back at PC’s 100-72 loss to Malvern Prep on Jan. 17, as well as the upcoming home meet versus Lawrenceville on Friday, Jan. 20 at 3:45 p.m.
 

Girls Swimming & Diving

Back in action for the first time in almost a month, the Quakers picked up their first win of the season, a 118-67 decision against visiting Episcopal on Jan. 11. 

Hecker’s squad took control right from the start, earning first and second-place finishes in the 200 medley relay — the winning squad consisted of eighth grader Molly Lo, freshman Zoe Page, sophomore Eva McIver-Jenkins and senior Aisling Brady, while the runner-up crew featured sophomore Eliza Black, freshman Harbor Campbell, sophomore Ava Coombs and junior Abby Steinbrook.

The Quakers (1-1) bookended the meet with another one-two finish in the 400 freestyle relay: Campbell, McIver-Jenkins, Lo and sophomore Ava Gonnella were the victors, while Black, Steinbrook, Coombs and freshman Ryan Zinser were right on their heels in second. 

Other standouts from the EA win included McIver-Jenkins, who took first place in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly; Steinbrook, who won both the 50 & 100 freestyle events; eighth grader Arden Keitel was victorious in the 500 freestyle, while Lo (100 backstroke) and sophomore Georgia Baran (100 breaststroke) also claimed big wins.

Hecker was also impressed with junior Katie Fitzpatrick, who placed fourth in her first ever diving event.

“All in all, the girls had a dominant performance,” Hecker said. 

Next week, SportsZone will revisit PC’s 100-75 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 17, as well as the forthcoming home meet against Lawrenceville on Friday, Jan. 20 at 3:45 p.m.

Boys Squash

After a three-week rest, the Quakers returned to the court for the first time in 2023 on Jan. 5 to battle nationally-ranked Haverford School. Unfortunately, the Fords were too strong, posting a 9-0 victory to remain undefeated while dealing Penn Charter its first loss of the season. All nine matches were won in straight games, 3-0.

“Haverford finished number three in the country last year and appear to be similarly strong this season,” assistant coach Peter Lubowitz said. “Still, good efforts from PC’s top six boys.”

The challenging road continued in the Quakers’ next match on Jan. 10 against Episcopal, another Inter-Ac team yet to lose a match this season. PC (3-2, 1-2) fared slightly better against the Churchmen than they did versus Haverford, but EA ultimately picked up an 8-1 win. Episcopal won the Nos. 2-9 matches 3-0, with senior captain Ramsay Killinger the lone victor from the top position on PC’s ladder.

“EA’s squad is deep,” Lubowitz said. “But a great win by our senior captain Ramsay, who overcame a 2-1 deficit to win 11-9 in the fifth game.”

The Quakers’ 8-1 loss to Conestoga — one of the top boys squash teams in the area — on Jan. 17 will be chronicled in next week’s SportsZone.

Girls Squash

Following a layoff that spanned almost a month, head coach Damon Leedale-Brown’s girls squash program returned to action on Jan. 10, losing a tough 6-3 match to Episcopal. 

“A tough loss against an EA team with excellent depth throughout their lineup,” Leedale-Brown said. 

Sophomores Sam and Alex Jaffe continued their dominant seasons, with each securing 3-0 wins over nationally-ranked opponents.

“Sam and Alex continue to dominate the number one and number two positions in the lineup,” Leedale-Brown said. 

The other big winner against EA was freshman Audrey Abernethy, who claimed a back-and-forth 3-2 victory from the no. 8 position in the lineup. She is unbeaten so far this season for the Quakers (2-2, 0-2).

Next week’s SportsZone will take a closer look at Penn Charter’s 7-2 loss to Agnes Irwin on Jan. 17, as well as the subsequent road game against Harriton at the Cynwyd Club in Bala Cynwyd on Thursday, Jan. 19 (3:30 p.m. start time). 

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